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The 2nd National Cyclocross championships were held on Saturday in on a sunny Adelaide winter’s day. Defending Champions Lisa Jacobs and Allan Iacuone were in attendance along with a who’s who of Australian CX, including national series leaders, April McDonough and Chris Jongewaard, and notable riders including Terri Rhodes, Melissa Anset, Adrian Jackson, Paul Redenbach and Peter Hatton.
The course was a polar opposite to last year’s national champ’s course in Melbourne. Technical director, Neil Ross wanted to introduce a more tactical element to the racing. The course was flat and fast, with long smooth sections interspersed with technical elements including a staircase on Mulch Hill and some sloppy mud in the ‘Forest of Doom’, it appeared that groups would form and the race would go down to the wire.
The women’s race got off to a flyer, with April McDonough getting the jump and shadowing Jacobs early, until a small mistake allowed Jacobs to jump away solo. McDonough’s bad luck continued when a mechanical had her entering the pits for a wheel change, dropping her back to 5th, and elevating hometown girl Rhodes into second place. Jacobs continued extending her lead while MccDonough charged back through the race, catching Rhodes, but unable to shake her, despite repeated attacks from the front. Lisa Jacobs’ preparation had been meticulous and it paid off, she celebrated in the final straight to claim her second National title. The sprint for second came down to the final meters, with McDonough doing everything right and holding Rhodes on the grass against the fence, but she jumped just a little too early, and had perhaps expended too much energy trying to drop Rhodes on the course, and was pipped for second by the South Australian in an exciting and tactical battle.
After the race Lisa Jacobs said, “It means such a lot to me to keep the [green and gold] stripes for another year,” said Jacobs. “I’ve really grown to love the sport, it’s great to see it develop and to be a part of that is fantastic.”
“I’d had such a good time wearing the jersey for the last 12 months and I wasn’t really ready to give it up, so I’m excited I’m able to wear it again.”
Jacobs claimed the win solo after a dominant performance.
“I knew my form was good but you still never know how everyone else is going, I could only control what I was able to so I was really happy I had done the right preparation because it paid off in the end.”
Women’s Elite Cyclocross Championships 2014 Results
1 Lisa Jacobs (Vic)
2 Terri Rhodes (SA)
3 April McDonough (Vic)
4 Melissa Anset (Vic)
5 Josie Simpson (Vic)
The Men’s race was highly anticipated. Allan Iacuone had started the season with a win in Melbourne over Chris Jongewaard, Adrian Jackson had won at Darebin Parklands in the mud, and then Jongewaard had been imperial in his domination in Perth. With representatives from every state in the field of 35, this was a truly national championship. When the gun went off, it was Jongewaard who got a great start along with Hatton and Jackson, while Alby Iacuone had a shocker, finding himself mid pack in the first kilometre.
Another mover and shaker was Queensland’s Andy Fellows, the former elite endurance racer finding some form at the short stuff, but quickly falling back through the field. After half a lap, Jongewaard already had a 5 second gap, and kept the hammer down, soloing away in another imposing display by the 6 time Australian mountain bike champion. Behind him, Iacuone chased hard, recovering from his poor start to move to second place and being the equal of Jongewaard on the flat fast stuff, but not quick enough through the corners to make a dent on the leader. With Jackson, Hatton fading, Paul Redenbach passed them in the final laps into the bronze medal position. Jongewaard crossed the line first, ecstatic with his latest national championship, with a hard charging Iacuone in second and Redenbach in third.
“I’m ecstatic that I managed to take the win,” said Jongewaard. “Allan is a super nice guy and a tough competitor so it was good to compete with him.
“Leading into the race I didn’t’ know where my form would be, [so] I’m really happy.”
Mens Elite Cyclocross Championships 2014
1 Chris Jongewaard (SA)
2 Allan Iacuone (VIC)
3 Paul Redenbach (VIC)
4 Peter Hatton (WA)
5 Adrian Jackson (VIC)
Once again, the strength of Australian Cyclocross is apparent, with high quality racing to decide this year’s championship, and two worthy winners. It is clear that the strength of the scene in South Australia and Victoria is a level above that in the rest of the country, and the clubs responsible, Brunswick CC and Port Adelaide CC should be highly commended. Thanks to all of those involved from PACC for running another great event, and best wishes to Club President, Mark Gregory who was injured in a racing incident on Sunday.
Thank you to Greg and Paul from BrewCX.com for providing this race report and Kevin Anderson for the photos.